"Why did you choose to study music at Xavier?"
More or less, I chose Xavier on a whim. It turned out to be the best decision I could've made. The relationships with friends and faculty, as well as the opportunities to grow inside and outside the classroom have led me to be who I am now. I hope current and future Muskies can enjoy the same experience I was so fortunate to have at XU.
I chose Xavier because of the unique opportunity to combine musical training with a comprehensive liberal arts education. I have been able to explore a broad palette of interests and benefited from plenty of individual attention from faculty, who are all highly qualified and talented musicians in their own right. They have worked with me to help me realize my individual goals and helped me find performance opportunities outside of the classroom. I have been extremely fortunate to have such an open, creative environment to hone my musical abilities and slowly discern where I am headed in my life. I owe a great deal of that to the faculty and friends at Xavier and look forward to what the rest of my time here holds.
The first thing I noticed about Xavier, and the music department in particular, was the friendly atmosphere. Music departments are stereotyped as being cutthroat and snobbish; however, the professors at Xavier have been nothing but nurturing, and the students support and encourage one another. The music department is like a family with the professors genuinely caring about the overall well-being of their students. One time when I was sick, I remember a number of my professors expressed concern and even offered to take me to the doctor! I am fortunate that I am able to spend most of my days with my best friends and with adults whom I greatly respect.
As I reflect upon my time in the Music Department at Xavier University, I often remember the quotation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in which he states "Music is the universal language of mankind." This simple statement embodies the educational experience I received as an undergraduate music major at Xavier. The classes are individualized, friendly, and taught by highly qualified instructors. These faculty and staff were always willing to go the extra mile to help me with course work and finding a career in music. I was also impressed with the diverse nature of the music curriculum. Whether I am learning music theory, taking an opera seminar or performing in an ensemble, Xavier's Music Department constantly challenged my academic and musical growth. Developing both of these types of growth has undoubtedly assisted me in determining what it means to be a truly universal musician and why Xavier was the best fit for me.
When applying to colleges it was important to me to be able to immerse myself in academic endeavors in the bigger picture of the university, but also to be a part of a smaller "family" in the music program where my presence and my strengths would matter and be appreciated. I have found this at Xavier, and I could tell from the moment of my acceptance at XU and audition with the Department of
Music that this would be the place for me. The university offered scholarship for my high school performance and the music program offered scholarship for my prepared audition. When Dr. Skeirik (the chair at the time) pulled me aside after my audition and offered to do what he could to help me explore what the music program, Xavier's campus, and the city of Cincinnati could offer me, I felt included already. At Xavier, I have grown more into the person that I want to be, and I have found support to do so in the wonderful professors and classmates that I have had the fortune to know through the "family of music" here.
Xavier's music faculty are dedicated to their students and are able to give them plenty of individual attention. I have been able to work closely with faculty on scholarly musical projects, and have also been given generous performance opportunities with faculty members. At Xavier I have been encouraged to expand my musical taste, and have become familiar with a whole new world of music.
Xavier University's music department has the unique distinction of being a faculty every bit as talented as that of a world-renowned music conservatory while also being every bit as caring and dedicated to its students as a small liberal arts college should be. As a student I had the opportunity to take advantage of a wide range of ensembles and performance opportunities-from classical recitals, opera workshop, and a small vocal chamber ensemble, to jazz ensembles, and a larger choral group. My four years at Xavier helped me to enhance my talent and musicianship and expose myself to new genres of music and new ways of thinking about music composition, performance, and the philosophies behind them. I was encouraged to study a diverse spread of music from Strayhorn to Villa Lobos to Puccini. If you are looking for a department in which you can flourish in small classes, one-on-one with talented and caring professors, make lasting friendships, and grow as a musician, all while enjoying the benefits of a liberal arts education-Xavier University's music department is the right fit for you!